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In one of the most touristic destinations of Malawi -- Cape Maclear, a small paradise surrounded by mountains and the endless waters of a lake -- is Thumbi View Lodge, which looks straight at Thumbi West Island. It's a place with the friendliest people, the tastiest food, and the promise of nice holidays. One thing that needs to be remembered is to bring cash, because the closest ATM is ten miles away (and it’s not always working).
To get to Cape Maclear, guests needs to follow a curvy road between the hills from Monkey Bay. Car owners with GPS shouldn’t have a problem with getting here; those without their own transport must rely on lifts, minibuses, and motorcycle taxis that can take them seventeen kilometers through National Park to the Cape. Fortunately, owners of Thumbi View Lodge offer their guests transport from Lilongwe and Mangochi for a fuel price, which for many might save a lot of trouble.
Rooms and Bathrooms
Dorm rooms are just across the road from the lake; in the room, there are two bunk beds equipped with mosquito nets, an open closet, and a fan. Rooms are small but comfortable, with bathroom in each; the bathroom is equally small, with toilet, sink, mirror, and shower, and lacks a curtain, shelves (or at least hooks for towels), and hot water. Unfortunately, hot water is available only in a really expensive beach houses.
There are no lockers or secure space for luggage storage. Dorm rooms located on a side of a road are exposed to all sounds of street life, from minibuses honking from 5 in the morning to music from local bars until 10 p.m.
Common space at Thumbi View is fantastic -- they offer open space with a nicely equipped bar/reception desk and pool with an amazing view of a lake (and sunsets on the side of a Thumbi Island). There are board games; bookshelves; TV; plenty of sitting space with comfortable cushions; and a private beach with hammocks, sunbeds, and bonfire space.
The room price includes the breakfast of your choice; lunch can be bought at the lodge restaurant and set dinner might be ordered until 1 p.m. Even though the board informs guests of the timeframe for dinner orders, lodge owners nag guests (even during breakfast) for a quick decision. Unfortunately, there is no common kitchen, so restaurants and street bars are the only options.
Guests of Thumbi View Lodge won’t be bored, as the place offers a wide range of paid day activities, and Cape Maclear is a place where there are always more things than time to do them. Walls of the lodge are full of positive reviews and -- even though you can feel that owners are unnecessarily harsh on their (amazing) staff -- after spending a few days here, nobody will question why.
Photos taken by the Hostelz.com reviewer — Genuine photos you can trust.
Hostelz.com Staff Reviewer
Published on Sep 30, 2017
Video of Thumbi View Lodge
Here is a video of Thumbi View Lodge. The video gives you a better understanding of what you can expect.
Location and Contact
• Previously Mabuya Camp, located in Area 3 Lilongwe. • Contact us for Airport transfers at around $25 for up to 3 people.